Responding to the Queen’s Speech, Richard Brown, Interim Director of Centre for London said:
On levelling up opportunities across all parts of the UK:
“If it’s done well, the government’s levelling up agenda could make a big and positive difference to some of England’s most deprived communities, but this mustn’t be at the expense of Londoners facing the biggest challenges. Early indications are not good: all but two London boroughs were left out of the recent Levelling Up Fund, despite London having the highest child poverty rate of any UK region. London needs to be part of the conversation about reducing inequality across all parts of the UK otherwise we risk levelling down rather than levelling up.
On modernising the planning system so that more homes can be built:
“The government’s proposals on planning offer potential for more meaningful community engagement, higher design standards, and a less costly and risky planning system. But the government should reconsider plans to extend permitted development rights, allowing commercial space to be converted to homes without planning permission, on our high streets. As the government also looks to breathe life back into our town centres following the pandemic, these plans could hasten decline.”
On new skills and post-16 education legislation:
“The flexibility of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee will be vital to helping Londoners and London’s economy to adapt at a time of rapid economic and technological change. The government should also consider devolving the whole further education budget to City Hall, to give the Mayor strategic oversight of the quality and responsiveness of the city’s skills provision at this time of great upheaval.”